Ida Rolf was born on May 19, 1890 in Brooklyn, New York.
She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia
University. For twelve years she worked at the Rockefeller Institute in the Chemotherapy and
Organic Chemistry departments. She also studied Mathematics and Nuclear Physics in Zurich and
Homeopathic Medicine in Geneva.
In the 1930's, unsatisfied with the available medical treatment, Dr. Rolf explored Osteopathy,
Chiropractic Medicine, Tantric Yoga, the Alexander Technique and Korzybskis work on
By the 1940's she had developed and experienced many breakthroughs with the work she did with
chronically disabled people, who were unable to find help elsewhere.
During the 50's and 60's her reputation spread, until she was invited to the Esalen Institute
in California at the suggestion of Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt Therapy. There she began
training practitioners and instructors in Structural Integration.
In the 1970's Ida Rolf founded her own school in Boulder, Colorado. She died In 1979.
There are several schools continuing Ida Rolf's research to enhance the understanding of
gravity's relationship with the human structure. The two schools we would like to mention here
are the Guild for Structural Integration
and the Rolf Institute.